When Machine Girl’s extroverted, aggressive ‘WLFGRL’ arrived in 2014 it turned a lot of heads, an exuberant amalgam of Jungle, Hip Hop, Footwork and various other electronic genres in bizarre and dangerous Voltron formation – Scattershot beat patterns and Bass pulse, complex and off-centre moodshift acid sounds with lurid sampling, half time breakbeats and brazenly confident, inopportune maximalist arrangements, a nightmarishly exuberant and exciting cheshire cat grin of overdosed electronic music, the soundtrack to an invigorating werewolf pinger rave full of come up/come down lunar micro-cycles, bathed in the full moon. ‘WLFGRL+’ adds a couple of demo tracks from around the time of recording, adding little but detracting not at all from the record’s menacing funk gunslinging and stylish Noise bombast. Still great.
Two track EP from Argentinian occult Stoner Doom band Mephistofeles, released in 2013. Drugged, mean, lysergic proto-Doom/Stoner Rock, psychedelic and satanically possessed. Track one is a jammin’ procession centred on some very catchy, lurid riffs, winding and shifting in your blazed ears as it lumbers ahead in a cloud of fuzz. There’s a fantastic looseness to this one, floating hazily through it’s downcast sounding hate groove, head nodding in stoned insanity. Then track two drifts further into Planet Caravan’s trill & chill orbit and exahales pensive melody and spectral vocal beneath ghoulish desert boogie jams, riding a lonesome train into a mysterious dusky horizon. Excellently raw fuzz Bass & Guitar tones, very loose and fluid rhythms and playing, stoned as hell, mean as hell. I love this band.
Ultimate Hardcore Fury! One gunman from Denver, Colorado, just a half hour outside Columbine – Righteously noisy, indignant, storming Hardcore Punk on fire, snarling bloodthirsty kill music, teeth grinding negativity and minimalist psychological meltdown. A rampage through the innocent, cracked postal worker-style, with another masterfully noisy mastering job by Will Kill. The two tracks on ‘Targets’ expand on the demo’s vibe and ratchet up the white guy violence up to eleven, seething with alienation and crammed with hate chords, militant mid paced clenched fist slime Punk. Supreme!
Another project from The End Commune. A conceptual single, two rabble-rousing tracks of colourful hooligan Black Metal with a clear post punk influence in the sound, thuggish and yet melodiously simplistic riffs and prideful, declarative vocal with audible brute enunciations amidst the shrieks, incensed and aflame with righteous fury. Punk chords underpinned with robust and uncomplicated Drums, very simplistic and dismal, arrogant and stoic, less psychedelic and esoteric than their brother-sisters in the sect of Slutet, more a clenched fist than a lotus palm. Reminds me at times of ‘Totenlieder’, at others of ‘Exhuming the Grave of Yeshua’, though Southern Spruce conjures it’s own unique audial illusions and allegories from a similar pool of raw Punk and despotic Black Metal. I await their full length eagerly.
The End Commune
Kaleidoscopic, masterful US Harsh Noise CD on Found Remains. A caustic detonation of blistering highs and bottomless scrap lows, concrete carbonizing concussions – each track on ‘Altered States of Warfare’ a weapons-discharge deluge of enormous firepower, tracer-round treble attacks, wobbling rockfall cataclysm – you got your Macronympha/Skin Crime-like rumbling detailed cut ups at a sort of cruising speed, a rolling thundercloud of cauterizing Harsh Noise Warfare, dizzying battlefield dynamics and screaming sonic incendiary rounds, mutated rotten electronics! Visions of outlandish melted HAZMAT and H&K hell, Industrial psychedelic commando operations. Awesome.
Blissfully chilled set of vaporwave tunes inspired by the world of Dragonball. It’s become a firm favourite of mine in the past year, having discovered it just in time to match the slowed pace of my hometown during lockdown. Boasts a great selection of smooth jazz-inflected licks, meditative funk and crystalline synth “on-hold” muzak tied together with crisp, relaxing beats, occasionally punctuated with ki sound effects from the anime to keep you wrapped up in the theme. Rich filtering, thick layers of reverb and lo-fi tape flutter add to the nostalgic comfort, like a teenage summer night spent watching hometaped Toonami DBZ marathons on VHS. There’s a couple of more upbeat tracks here, but for the most part it’s head-noddin’, pool-floatin’, lotus-sittin’ tempo – great for when you’re smoking up a fat one at Kame House with the turtle hermit himself, firing off energy beams into the oceanic horizon.
Tiger Blood Tapes
I was recently made aware of this killer mixtape by The Bug on his twitter feed, and it’s a straight banger – a clutch of old school atmospheric Grime productions slathered in hard hitting, aggressive and incorrigible bars spat hitman style by a brace of talented and verbose MCs, an hour of devotional Grime full of archaic sampling, confrontational and forward thinking productions, a purism of Grime form not often seen these days. A throwback to a sound that I remember frightened and excited the mainstream hard, and influenced popular music on a global scale. Perhaps the youth focus has moved on to the sounds of Drill (I’m sure that’s a bit of an overstatement, really), but with the work of the South London Space Agency and Grandmixxer, this strain of Grime is sonically alive and kickin shit hard. Absolutely fucking imperative.
South London Space Agency
Impassioned, possessed outsider Black Metal from a third mind commune in Sweden, frothing with absurd melody and morbidly obsessed with various deitic forms – lysergic ecstatic chaos, bombastic and altogether ‘other’, external to more traditional expressions of Black Metal, a tumult of blazing grandiose Guitars with lithe Bass, opprobrious and intense drums, and storm wind hysteria enveloped shriek vocals, incanting and ululating – reminds me a bit of early Volahn in it’s serpentine riffing and extreme psychedelia. The riffs and arrangements feature a grand sense of scale and majesty, more so than many of those dwelling in the rawer and less generic realms of Black Metal, which I greatly appreciate. Blisteringly loud, fiery and hubrid with righteous irreverence, a sweltering outcry of psychotic Grand Mal Black Metal.
The End Commune
Acid casualty industrial Techno evil from the States. Cassette released on BANK Records. Heinous pill shovel repeater nightmares, banging Techno loops from a place of little culture or decency. Low rent, ugly, malformed. Long, brutalist tracks loaded with all sorts of caustic audio explosives and horrible distortion. The slight rhythmic breaks in sampling and audial tape distortions give this a real home-made fertilizer bomb funk. Noise generators, eyes popping out, amphetamine fast and atmospheric, true degenerate Industrial noise techno from a fucked up meth addled trailer park. Drugs music!
BANK – Redacted (?)